Hello peeps! It’s time for another Small Business Love feature, brought to you by us, Chicago North Shore Moms. Today we are spotlighting the wonderful North Shore mortgage duo (literally – they’re married!) from The Theriault-Fazio Team at Proper Rate, Jo Ann Theriault-Fazio and Sam Fazio! They both have their hands full running a small business and learning the ropes of parenthood with three month old, Nico. Nevertheless, we had the pleasure of hearing from Jo Ann about how and why she got started in the mortgage industry and what truly sets her apart from the competition. As a second generation mortgage lender Jo Ann’s knowledge of past and the ever-changing present is unparalleled, combined with her affinity to help others through advice and mentorship. She’s a gem! Welcome, Jo Ann!
Hi Jo Ann! Please introduce yourself. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Barrington. 9 years ago my husband and I moved to Lake Zurich. I have always been a suburbs’ girl. And, love living close to family. We recently added to our family with the birth of our first child, Nico, who is almost 3 months-old.
Tell us more about your endeavor at Proper Rate.
Proper Rate is an independent mortgage company that offers homebuyers a personalized lending service. We are powered by one of the nation’s largest mortgage companies; Guaranteed Rate, with leading-edge technology and access to the best loan programs and rate structures. We can deliver all of the advantages of a big lender with the hands-on service of a small firm. At Proper Rate I am an SVP of Mortgage Lending, Branch Manager, and I serve as the Mentorship Director for GROW (Guaranteed Rate Organization of Women). While my primary role is bringing in business and structuring loans; I do love helping people and coaching them.
When and how did you first get introduced to the world of home lending?
I am actually 2nd generation mortgage. My dad is a 45+ year veteran and pioneer in this industry. After I graduated college I went to work in the mortgage business and started off as a processor and underwriter. It was never something that I thought I would end up doing; but it was something I was born into and I love helping people.
What sets your team at Proper Rate apart from the competition?
My Team and Knowledge Base! A lot of my staff has been with me for several years. They grow and get promoted within the organization and succeed just as I do. It is wonderful to work with people that you truly enjoy. I also work with my husband. And, as a team, we can cover more ground and help more people. Our Team has always prided ourselves in our knowledge of products, processes, and doing things efficiently and the right way.
You mentioned that you love helping people – what has been your proudest accomplishment in mortgage lending?
I can honestly say that my accomplishments are not my own. Between my team, our leadership team, the people who have mentored me and the people I get to mentor; everyone contributes to my success. Because I have been so fortunate in my career and have been able to seize a lot of opportunities; I try to give back as much as I can. This past year I was awarded the first ever Proper Rate Leadership Award. And, going forward it will be known as the JATF Leadership Award and I get to pick the recipient every year. Seeing other people rise to a challenge helping others and building something great… those are the kind of people I love to surround myself with. And, I am so fortunate to have found that in my career.
How are you dealing with the work/life balance?
Work life balance is not easy in the mortgage industry. You are on call 24/7 and when you run a large group of people and have a large client base; that can make it even harder. I think the thing that I have learned to do the best (and teach) is to stay organized, make lists, and continue to evolve and improve when you need to do so. The advancement of technology in our industry and what we have at Proper Rate is unparalleled to anywhere else. Becoming and expert in that technology and embracing it helps with that work-life balance immensely.
What’s on the horizon for your team at Proper Rate?
We are working on growing Proper Rate nationally. My husband and I still continue to build our team and teach the next generation of mortgage professionals.
How can our readers reach you with questions they might have or to simply start the loan process?
To learn more, please visit us at theriaultfazioteam.com or email us at [email protected]. If you’d like to start the loan process and apply, find important mortgage information, stay up to date on our events, and learn more about our team visit https://linktr.ee/TheriaultFazioTeam!